• networking winner

    The 5th level of competence

    I was talking to a Sales consultant recently, and he was asking me about my special skills. It’s a conversation I have had before, when I was exploring the skills of a friend or colleague. Now the boot was on the other foot.

    At some point I said, “I don’t know what I know.”

    I explained that I could articulate the subject matter of my training courses, as I have done on my website and in promotional literature or ads promoting specific courses, but that would not really explain my special skills. It’s a common problem, and one that you must have encountered yourself.

    Think about situations when you have been training or helping someone to solve a problem within your area of expertise. Under pressure, you come out with insights that derive from a deep understanding of your subject–wisdom that you’d find hard to explain or call to mind out of context.

    You could call that the fifth level of competence. It’s what distinguishes the true expert from the specialist.

    The other four levels are well known:
    1. unconscious incompetence, when the person is unaware of a deficiency in knowledge or skill
    2. conscious incompetence, when the person realises that deficiency, perhaps when trying to apply it
    3. conscious competence, when the person can apply the skill at will, recognising the level of competence and noticing how it improves with practice
    4. unconscious competence, when the skill or competence becomes automatic and second nature, like driving a car

    Some people progress further. Their knowledge of their subject moves to a higher level, so that they understand the principles underlying it, and can enable others to cope with any problems within it. Unconscious competence is about being able to carry out the skills themselves. The fifth level is about becoming expert and developing ‘wisdom’.

    Think about medical consultants, or lawyers who can find unexpected interpretations of the law. They, too, would find it hard to tell you what they know, but it’s much more than the stuff you’ll find in text books.

    When it comes to communication in business—speaking, leadership, presentations, sales letters and such like, I don’t know what I know. But I know I’m at the fifth level of competence.


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  • handshake

    And what do you do?

    In this age of Networking, there are many versions of how a person should introduce themselves.

    Some Networking groups (Breakfast meetings, typically) start with a round robin, with everyone given between 60 and 120 seconds to make what they call their “Elevator Pitch.”

    This is fundamentally flawed thinking for two …read more

    Source: PKP Communicators

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  • successful correspondence

    Brown envelopes get opened!

    They have long been associated with ‘bungs’ and payoffs, referred to with a smirk. Filled with cash to avoid a paper trail.

    But brown envelopes were also used frequently for official mail – stern warnings and timely reminders from the Inland Revenue, utility bills, circulars, and the original junk …read more

    Source: PKP Communicators

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  • man under umbrella

    Handling rejection in sales

    Selling has long been considered a confrontational conversion, lightly smeared with honey to make it seem agreeable. There are two reasons for that: first, the sales person wants to win while the prospect wants to retain both his money and his pride.

    Now, of course this does not happen in …read more

    Source: PKP Communicators

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  • what do people hear

    The Naive Customer

    By phillipkp

    I believe people.

    That makes me a sucker for sales pitches and confidence tricksters, many of whom infest the internet.

    I am also an early adopter. When something new comes along, I’ll take it up. And when I come across a good deal, I want it NOW.

    Such tendencies have repeatedly got me …read more

    Source: PKP Communicators

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  • networking winner

    Networking winner

    He worked alone, from home, like so many solo-preneurs. But he missed the companionship of workmates. So an invitation to a networking event seemed attractive.

    He put on a suit and pocketed a quantity of business cards. For good measure he also took along half a dozen trifold leaflets about his business. Just in case. But his social skills were rusty and no one seemed willing to engage him in a lengthy conversation.

    Before long he was stranded alone on the middle of the floor, while clusters of twos, threes and fours chatted freely around him, But not with him. Just then the iPhone in his pocket vibrated with a message to check his UK Lottery account.

    It told him, “Congratulations! You are a winner!” He grinned.

    “Good news?” asked someone. In a steady, loud voice he replied, “It seems I have just won the jackpot on the Lottery.

    Suddenly he was no longer alone.

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  • Don’t make them say, “Get on with it!”

    Recently I have watched a number of American How To videos on YouTube, and noticed a common trend that occurs also in American sales letters and motivational speeches. It’s a reluctance to get to the point.

    One video was about improving your singing voice. That was the promise in the title. It opened with a question received from a fan who wanted to know the difference between the singing voice and the speaking voice.

    The presenter talked about opera singers in the past, about vocal projection over the sound of an orchestra, about the modern use of the microphone, about the difference between theatre performances and solo singing, and the expectations of an audience.

    She then compared the performances by different singers of the same song, and asked a series of rhetorical questions about each person’s vocal range, adding explanations of her own preferred key.

    This took four minutes, and she had not yet started any instruction!

    Another How To video was about learning to play a certain musical instrument. Half the short video was on setting the scene and describing the instruction that would be presented in a DVD set. The second half of the video was a demonstration of basic technique, followed by 2,000 words plus pictures, promoting the DVD set.

    In general, there seems to be a tendency, in the Unites States, to tell you what you should be doing and why it would be a good idea. Along the way the speaker will bask in stories that illustrate what works and what does not. But the actual instruction is a long time coming. They tell you What and Why, but not How.

    I’d call it the Prolix Tendency. It’s a form of self-indulgence by the presenter.

    There is a better way to create constructive tension and build the listener’s desire for your solution. With the right structure, both in print and in sound, you can grab and hold the attention of your audience, so that they will follow you all the way and enjoy the journey.

    Don’t make people cry, “Get on with it!”

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